Saas helping bahu with saree viral video: A recent video shared by an Instagram influencer is winning hearts on the internet for its sweet portrayal of saas-bahu relationship. In the video we see a new bride, out to attend a function, struggling with her saree. To help her out, her mother-in-law gets down on her knees and adjusts the plates of her saree. She then looks up to her daughter-in-law and asks, “Ok?” to ensure that she is now comfortable. The video has offered a modern take on a much-stereotyped relationship. No wonder it has gone viral.
Saas-bahu relationship is one of the most complex relationships in every Indian household. With arrival of a new bahu in the house, there is a shift in dynamics. Women, conditioned to see their household as their domain, see the new entrant as their rival. As a result, the saas-bahu relationship is often fraught with tension. Well, this is the narrative that pop culture has offered to us to date. But how close is it to reality?
In recent times we have seen women reclaim the narrative of this relationship from media and society and define it based on their one-on-one chemistry. There are women who help out their bahus have a flourishing career, by helping them out with childcare and household duties. Mother-in-laws and bahus have also discovered a bond with each other that isn’t defined by society or their relationship with their son and husband respectively.
This new equation is much visible on social media, where saas-bahu jodis are teaming up as content creators. One such collaboration is between Sameera Reddy (Messy Mama) and her mother-in-law Manjri Varde as Sassy Saasu, who create funfilled videos together. But how did the duo manage to outgrow the limits set by stereotypes on their relationship?
“In most Indian households, there is always this power game between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law. However, there is nothing of that sort in our house as I have been single and independent for many years now. I think this made a lot of difference,” Varde told SheThePeople in an exclusive interview.
Although, it’s not like all saas and bahus do have dazzling chemistry and treat each other as allies. Many women’s attitude towards this relationship is still shaped by age-old stereotypes. How can we change that? How can we encourage women to explore the possibilities of finding sisterhood in this relationship? In her interview, Reddy suggested that women need to keep working on this relationship everyday and find a way to understand each otherâ€™s intentions.
The door for an affable and more organic saas-bahu relationship has been opened by women themselves via social media. Like Ash, the influencer whose video is going viral these days, women are sharing narratives that redefine the saas-bahu relationship and are trying to normalise friendship among women who have been pitched as each other’s rivals by society for ages. Hopefully, women will eventually conquer animosity and normalise affection in this relationship.
Views expressed are the author’s own.